Isms. We all have them. But now and then we ought to step out of our comfort zone, perhaps take a brief leap of faith and put aside pre-conceived notions. I did last night and the results were extremely good.
As a rule, when scanning recipes for potential attraction (the recipe for me, that is) I switch off the minute I see any of the following: tin of soup, can of pie filling, package of pudding mix/taco seasoning/onion soup or salsa mix, box of devil's food or angel food cake mix.
Oh, and,I didn't go a heap on artichoke hearts although I'm changing my tune on those ones and you'll be getting a post soon that includes them. I have yet to convince my resident taste testers though.
Anyway, you get the idea. I don't 'do' prepared food. I don't buy it, use it, like it or serve it. Ergo, I don't use it in my recipes as it gives it a 'prepared' flavour and a walloping dose of chemicals and preservatives.
And if I see the word 'cheesy' in the title of any recipe, I run screaming off into the night.
So why is it that when I was flipping through a magazine a few weeks ago and came across 'Cheesy chicken cobbler' I didn't turn the page at once and move on? Why, when the third item in the recipe list was 'a tin of tomato soup', did I not utter a snort of derision and ignore the rest of the recipe?
Dunno the answer to either of those, but for some reason the concept of this one attracted me, and my inclination for substitution kicked in big time and I tore the page from the magazine, determined to make it at some point.
I reached that point yesterday evening.
Like me, please turn a deaf ear to your 'isms' when you can, use tins and packets if you absolutely have to, but better still substitute with fresh, and surprise yourself and the rest of us.
Forget the original title, omit the offending adjectives and have fun with this 'back pocket recipe'. And please, to all dear readers, report back when and if you try any of the posts with success.
200g cooked chicken, skinless of course and cut into cubes or chunks (light or dark, either leftover, or raw and microwaved for a few minutes as the original method of cooking is not crucial to the whole)
200g mixed frozen vegetables (carrots, corn, broccoli, peas, whatever you have in the freezer) but if you want to use fresh then by all means but it loses the convenience and back pocket factor at this point.
Deep breath and here we go: 300g tin of undiluted tomato soup (use the soup if you have it and want to and are happy) but Passata or Napoletana, fresh or from a jar, are perfect here and we can do away with one of the verboten ingredients.
175g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp olive oil
This is just so so easy: In a bowl, mix together cooked chicken, vegetables and tomato whatever (soup, or fresh pasta sauce). Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of a shallow casserole dish (see pic for approx size of dish) and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and a large pinch of salt into a bowl. Add grated cheese. In another bowl (this is like my banana muffin recipe isn't it?) beat together milk, egg and olive oil. Add liquid mixture into the flour and use a pastry blender or two knives to mix together into a sticky dough. Add a little flour or water to make it easy to work with. When dough clumps begin to form, turn onto a floured board and form a circle, square or rectangle. The shape will probably reflect your personality! Cut your total shape evenly into about 8 pieces: rounds, pie shapes, squares, it doesn't really matter as they all become amorphous blobs in the oven.
Arrange these shapes evenly on top of chicken mixture. Brush each 'scone' or 'dumpling' shape with a little milk and you can grate more cheese over the top if you like.
Bake in a 200º oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until the cobbler bits brown and the chicken mixture is bubbling.